Highlights of New Directors/New Films

Five films you won't want to miss.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig in Marielle Heller's The Diary Of A Teenage Girl
Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig in Marielle Heller's The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

Stevan Riley's Listen To Me Marlon, Simone Rapisarda Casanova's The Creation Of Meaning (La Creazione Di Significato), Lukas Valenta Rinner's Parabellum, and Goodnight Mommy directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz are films to look out for.

Bas Devos (Violet); Stéphane Lafleur (Tu Dors Nicole); Shim Sung-bo (Haemoo); Kornél Mundruczó (White God); Britni West (Tired Moonlight); Darhad Erdenibulag (K); Naji Abu Nowar (Theeb); Bill Ross and Turner Ross (Western); Yohei Suzuki (Ow); Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher); Benjamin Crotty (Fort Buchanan); Laura Citarella and Verónica Llinás (Dog Lady); Salomé Alexi (Line Of Credit); Chaitanya Tamhane (Court); Sarah Leonor (The Great Man); Charles Poekel (Christmas, Again); Oscar Ruiz Navia (Los Hongos) are filmmakers scheduled to participate in post-screening Q&As.

The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 44th edition of New Directors/New Films runs from March 18 - 29, opening with Marielle Heller presenting The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, concluding with Rick Alverson in attendance for Entertainment.

Here are some of the highlights:

With exclusive access to previously unheard audio archives, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary.
With exclusive access to previously unheard audio archives, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Listen To Me Marlon Stevan Riley, UK, 2015, 100m, Showtimes
Hundreds of hours of Brando's audio recordings have never been heard until Stevan Riley took his pick and put together this fascinating portrait of the movie star and the man. Brando tells us that "they digitalised my face… so maybe this is the swan song for all of us." All actors he means, but that, in his definition, includes all of us. "Lying for a living, that's all acting is." Well chosen clips from Brando's films and television appearances visually accompany the audio tapes that include some he recorded to use for self-hypnosis. A soft wind blows and Marlon hypnotises himself back to a time when he was very young, walking down the sidewalk in Omaha or sitting in the shade of an old oak tree. If only his mother hadn't been "the town drunk" and if only he didn't hate his father so much, this could have been paradise. Friday, March 27, 6:30pm – FSLC; Saturday, March 28, 1pm - MoMA

The Creation Of Meaning
The Creation Of Meaning

The Creation Of Meaning (La Creazione Di Significato) Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Canada/Italy, 2014, 95m (Italian with English subtitles)
In the Apennine mountains we join a group of students for a history lesson about the partisans and hear stories about the Gothic Line, why it was called Green Line by the Germans, and of an Italian kid chased by a German kid before hiding inside an oven. It is up to us to link the past with the present and the future. In the mountains, "it's easier to control from above," the teacher explains. We won't meet these students again, and shadow instead the beautiful brown donkey who leads us to his owner, Pacifico, the hero of this film and a man living alone with his animals in his house built into the rock of the mountains, much in the way his forefathers must have lived. In Simone Rapisarda Casanova's The Creation Of Meaning there is a similarity in the quiet and intelligent celebration to Michelangelo Frammartino's Alberi and Le Quattro Volte or Gõtz Spielmann's mountain initiation short Foreign Land (Fremdland). Thursday, March 19, 9pm – FSLC; Friday, March 20, 6:15pm - MoMA

Goodnight Mommy
Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, Austria, 2014, DCP, 100m German with English subtitles RADiUS-TWC
This movie will change your attitude towards super-glue, pepperoni pizza and Red Cross volunteers soliciting charity donations. Lullabies do something to people, they are a short cut to the solar plexus. Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz use two of the most beloved German goodnight songs and build a sleek, not un-American horror movie on these pillars to dreamland, produced by Ulrich Seidl with cinematography by Martin Gschlacht. After a short prelude in the form of a clip from an Austrian version of the Sound Of Music story, starring Ruth Leuwerik, we settle into the country house of a woman who has just undergone extensive facial surgery. Her twin sons, Lukas and Elias (Lukas and Elias Schwarz), are seen spending the time on the grounds around the isolated house. They play Hide and Seek in a cornfield with a strong North By Northwest resemblance and rescue a cat from a pile of skulls in the vault of an overgrown cemetery. Something is wrong with Mommy (Susanne Wuest), they wonder. Maybe the woman with the new face isn't their mother at all? Filmmakers present Friday, March 27, 9:15pm – FSLC; Saturday, March 28, 6:45pm - MoMA


Parabellum Lukas Valenta Rinner, Argentina/Austria/Uruguay, 2015, DCP, 75m Spanish with English subtitles Screening with: Colours Evan Johnson, Canada, 2014, DCP, 2m
If you want peace, prepare for war, the Latin saying goes. A cow is mooing, daylight is breaking, the camera goes round and round, a rooster crows, the landscape could be anywhere, then a bomb hits. Where we are and what is going on reveals itself slowly and to a point. "It is a tragic time in Argentina and in other parts of the world", a radio announces. In a grey city, Buenos Aires as imagined by Kafka, a man cancels all his services and transports his cat to an animal hotel, before leaving for a trip. "The world is no longer a predictable place," we hear as we follow the featureless man and a group of blind-folded tourists into a swamp delta for a survival training unlike any other. Lukas Valenta Rinner directs with confidence and a detached gaze and quotes from a mysterious "Book of Disasters", provide us with chapters that lead to captivating and grave conclusions, true to the motto "si vis pacem, para bellum." Filmmaker present Monday, March 23, 8:45pm – MoMA; Tuesday, March 24, 6:30pm - FSLC

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl Marielle Heller, USA, 2014, 100m Sony Pictures Classics
Marielle Heller's debut feature is bathed in faded mustard yellow light and the cartoon drawings from Phoebe Gloeckner’s illustrated novel the film is based upon, sprout to life in particularly intense moments. The Diary Of A Teenage Girl drops us into the hands of 15-year-old Minnie (Bel Powley), strolling in a sunny park in San Francisco in 1976, telling us in voice-over about her life so far. "I was an ugly baby," and "my appearance hasn't improved," says the smiling girl who also informs us that she had just lost her virginity to her mother's boyfriend Monroe, played with impressively creepy charm by Alexander Skarsgård. Kristen Wiig as the mother wants to bond with her girls on partying - little sister Gretel (Abby Wait) blends into the wallpaper and is the family detective. "Maybe it's not about being loved by anyone else," is the teenage conclusion to a barrel of experiences that would knock out a grown man. Filmmaker present Wednesday, March 18, 7pm and 8pm - MoMA

For further details and to book, visit the official site.

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